Salt, alchemically speaking, is the substance mode of the essential Three Principles in Nature. All things in the visible and invisible universe contain all three qualities in an endless variety of weight and measure. The three qualities, Mercury, Sulphur and Salt may first be taken into consideration as the three supernal spheres atop the Tree. Mercury is Kether, Omniscience and Air; Sulphur, Chokmah, Omnipotence and Fire. Salt equates with Binah, Omnipresence and Water. Binah is the Great Salt Sea of Universal Subconscious Mind-Matter, coagulated into the multitudes of tangibles we sense. This Akashic Substance is unknown to our dense senses, but it is the fundamental material of which all that we do sense is made. The Latin, Sal, totals 28 by Latin Cabala Simplex. This number value is shared with the Hebrew, כח, kecheth, meaning 'power or substance.' The power is the limiting, cohesive, restricting or finitizing characteristic which gels universal mind-matter into embodiment. The substance is the compressed mind-matter named Understanding, since Qabalah hints Prima Materia as that which sub-stands, stands under or behind the manifest universe. Salt could be said, in the pure alchemical sense, to be the effect of Sal-Nitre of Akasha, cooled (see SAL-NITRE). Sal-Nitre is the initiating force from Chokmah, as an idea or image.
The power agent intrinsic within Binah (Salt) coagulates or gathers substance (Akasha) about the idea to form its physical manifestation. טיט, teet, one Hebrew word for 'clay,' also equals 28. Clay is the wet, cohesive, earthy matter, which, when molded by hand and subjected to heat, can be formed into pottery, and bricks for dwellings. From these and other conscious activities, cities and civilization emerged. So may the primal mind-substance be coalesced by MANUAL OPERATION (see same). Salt, acted upon by intense Sulphur, embodies a desire for tangible effect. מלח, melach, the Hebrew for 'salt,' sums to 78. Qabalistically one important idea equaling 78 is מזלא, mezla, 'influence.' It is the primary whirling motion Qabalists maintain to be concentrated in Kether. It then 'drips' or flows down ('inflows,' becomes 'influence') into and through the rest of the spheres and branches of the Tree, as a Heavenly Dew, coagulating in density until the culmination of outer, physical phenomena. Eventually the substance even becomes our לחם, lehem, 'bread' or 'food,' which also adds to 78. The Bread was implied at the Last Supper. “This is My Body,” said the Christ Consciousness of Itself, referring to food substances particularly, but to all substance generally. One Latin word totaling 78 is an important alchemical substance used in the confection of the Stone. Chylus, meaning 'juice,' is the ‘influence’ formed by the lacteals in the small intestine, the Virgo body region. This is the Virgin's Milk. It is the First Matter inside the body of an alchemist. Its physical appearance is like the Universal Prima Materia in that it is also an oily, milk-white substance (see CHYLUS and LAC VIRGINIS).
The Virgo region of the physical body is a 'House of Bread,' ביתלחם, Bethlehem. Qabalists and Alchemists suggest all Adepts, Masters, Avatars and Yogis are born of a Virgin, in Bethlehem, and in like manner will all aspirants attain to that exalted state. By this and other operations in the Art, a body is formed with cellular structure sufficient to hold the intense Mezla from Kether. Such a body is built by the subconscious mind using proper, sensible combinations of light, water, air and food, while shaped by imagination into optimum expression. חלם, cholem, the Hebrew 'to dream,' is a letter permutation of לחם, lehem. Dreaming is not merely confined to the immediate physical body and its ethereal counterparts, but to all manifest creation at the macrocosmic level. The Creative Principle dreams into existence the physical universe and all it contains.
Salt may also be investigated under the glyph of a circle divided by its own diameter. Through the use of OCCULT GEOMETRY (see same), Qabalists ascertain this glyph to total 24. The full circle equals 22, while a straight line represents 2. Another Hebrew word for 'body' or 'substance' summing to 24 is גויה, guiah. Then there is כד, cod, 'jug or pitcher,' which brings to mind the clay substance mentioned earlier. זיז, zeez, means 'abundance, plenty,' and hints the inexhaustible riches of the Universal Matter.
Yet another symbol for Salt and the physical plane is the cube. Salt crystallizes into cubes. Sages through the ages have used it to represent earth. The cubic stone also represents Jehovah incarnate since the sum total of the parts of a cube (6 faces, 8 corners and 12 edges) total 26, that of IHVH, Jehovah. If we take each edge of the cube as the value of a straight line, 2, then the cube sums to 24 again. This may be joined with the gematria of 24 above. All this number juggling and image association serves to illustrate how Alchemical Salt metaphorically forms bodies. The physical plane, our tangible earth, is nothing less than coagulated Jehovah. Wherever we step is indeed holy ground. There is nothing we can perceive through any of our senses that is not the Lord, God Almighty. His Divine Omniscience and Omnipotence are made known to us in this physical world by all that we can sense through His Omnipresence, the coagulated and restricted power of His Third Person Qabalists call Binah.
All genuine alchemists know this as the finitizing power of Alchemical Salt. The action of Alchemical Salt creates a deliberate and useful illusion. It purposefully veils reality. The reality veiled is pure consciousness. If it were not for Salt, unformed Chaos would remain so, and void. If it were not for the power disguised under Salt, we would have no bodies, no earth, no sun, no stars – no physical universe whatever. All our subtle, ethereal bodies contain the third, Salt principle. Even deity contains its measure. We cannot rid ourselves of Salt as long as there is a universe. What we attempt to assuage through Alchemical Art is the preoccupation and over-stimulation of Salt’s influence within our multi-level awareness. When its power is unbalanced and unchecked it inhibits our evolution and denies us our divine heritage. The Salt principle within our seven Metals (Chakras) enhances sensation through those centers that mesmerize our desire nature. Our Sulphur (desire) is then preoccupied with appeasement of senses that can never be satisfied, thus the dilemma with achieving our salvation.
Western Alchemy and Eastern Yoga are the more austere of many disciplines which aid consciousness on the Return Path. Meditation is at the core of each tradition. We must learn to meditate and continue to do so until His Grace is bestowed upon us. See THREE PRINCIPLES, MERCURY, SULPHUR, GUNAS, RAJAS GUNA, SATTVA GUNA and TAMAS GUNA as cross references.